A month or so ago, the ever-wise Sir J wrote a post in which he commented that Dominance requires energy. That thought resonated with me, and it’s stayed with me ever since. Energy is something I’ve been struggling with since the end of the holidays. Energy is at a real premium around our place right now.
Pondering his comment, I found myself drawing on knowledge recalled from my high school chemistry class. Do you remember what you learned in Chem Lab? Let’s use that perspective to think about energy and a BDSM encounter.
I believe that the mixture of Dominant and submissive in a BDSM scene creates an exothermic reaction. Exothermic reactions create (if you want to be technical, they right word is probably “release”) their own energy—if you want an exothermic example, watch what happens when you drop a gummi bear into a test tube of potassium chlorate. See the flames and intense heat that shoot out of the test tube as the gummi bear gives up its existence in the name of science? Well, that’s about how hot things can get between Joy and I when we really hit our stride in the playroom.
However, digging deeper into my long disused store of chemistry lore, I recall that some reactions require a catalyst before they can begin. A catalyst is another ingredient that enables the reaction to start, or speeds it up so that it can really take off. Sometimes the catalyst may be another chemical, but sometimes it may be heat, or even a spark. Hydrogen and oxygen are a volatile mixture, for instance, but they can coexist peaceably together even when mixed. However, add a spark and…well, don’t add a spark. If you don’t understand why, try Googling a picture of the last flight of the Hindenburg zeppelin.
Anyway, my belief is that while BDSM is an exothermic reaction, it requires a catalyst to set it off, and in this case, that catalyst is energy. Oh, it’s not much—just a spark, and the reaction will take off, generating all sorts of heat and power to keep it self-sustaining until it’s run its course. But the spark is required…without it, Dominant and submissive remain together, side by side, with no reaction. And that, my good readers, can sometimes be a problem.
Why might there be no energy? Well, lack of sufficient sleep comes to mind. Bad news can tend to suck energy away from you. And stress, whatever its cause, never helps. And then there’s the sad truth that we’re no longer twenty-two anymore. Sometimes, though I hate to confess it, in the contest between fooling around and falling asleep, sleep wins.
And why is an initial spark required? Well, without it, there’s no impetus for the first kiss. There’s no move to bust the cuffs out of their drawer, or don the lacey undies that tantalize with hints of what lies beneath. And most especially, there’s no drive to take control, to take charge. Dominance is forever and always a contest of wills, even within a couple that has had an established D/s dynamic for years. Every time Dominance is exerted, there is at least a fleeting challenge from the submissive partner. The contest may be brief and the challenge may be so miniscule as to pass nearly unnoticed, but the Dominant partner must still summon sufficient will to set the direction and get both their partner and themselves moving. Gathering one’s will takes energy, and that energy must come from somewhere.
The spark can originate from either side, by the way. Though I fill the Dominant role in our relationship and therefore tend to be the initiator, Joy can easily trigger the reaction if she chooses. Give me the right look with her blue eyes, wear something just a bit naughty to bed, or even assume a posture with a bit of a submissive flair, and that can be enough. Once the reaction starts, there’s no easy way to stop it…or rather, there’s no easy way to stop it until it reaches its end.
So anyway, our energy reserves have been at a bit of a low around here recently. However, it’s the weekend, and the prospect of sleeping late adds a bounce to both of our steps. Somehow I’m thinking there might be a bit of chemistry going on between the two of us tonight. Let’s hope we don’t get too far out of control or we might set off the smoke alarms…